June 17, 2010 (40th Parliament, 3rd Session)


John Duncan


Mr. John Duncan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, CPC)

Madam Speaker, Canada is a strong supporter of the various UN mechanisms devoted to indigenous issues, such as the United Nations permanent forum on indigenous issues.
This year, during the half-day session on North America, Canada was pleased to speak to what we were doing concretely to improve the situation of aboriginal peoples. The Speech from the Throne and budget 2010 contain significant commitments. We have been active in moving ahead in implementing these commitments, including our legislation on matrimonial real property, water standards and gender equity improvements with the Indian Act.
Regarding the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the government made a commitment to take steps to endorse the aspirational document in a manner consistent with Canada's Constitution and laws. The government is currently looking at how and when to best formalize its endorsement.
A growing number of states have given a commitment to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We listened with interest at the ninth session of the United Nations permanent forum on indigenous issues when New Zealand delivered its statement endorsing the declaration and the United States announced that it was reviewing its position.
We have engaged in dialogue with national aboriginal organizations, provinces and territories and our international partners in order to recognize this document within the context of the Constitution and our legal framework.
In keeping with our strong tradition of taking concrete action in support of indigenous peoples, we remain committed to endorsing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in a timely manner. It will be a moment of pride for all Canadians.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
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